The Socialist majority in Albania began on Tuesday procedures to dismiss the member of the Supervisory Council of the Bank of Albania Arben Malaj due to “serious violations of ethics” in his public outings and pronouncements.
Through an initial Facebook reaction, Malaj said that “the fact that after the dismissal by Erdogan of the Governor of the Bank of Turkey this may be the second case that the all-powerful majority dismisses a member of the Central Bank Board, only professionally saddened me.”
In an interview for Voice of America on Tuesday, Malaj, a prominent Economics professor, says he knows the ethical limitations of the profession well and his civic freedoms, so he will follow the institutional path.
Malaj says he has always spoken publicly about the economic problems that the country has, and believes that they can be solved through discussion and not silently.
“I’m sure I did not violate the Code of Ethics. I know the limitations of the Code of Ethics; so I do not comment on the Bank of Albania decision. Even in cases when I may have voted against, I did not come to the public to say if I voted against, not to create wrong perceptions of the public and not to create panic. This is my big responsibility and this is the test of ethics. Thus, failed ethics in a Central Bank means breaking down the confidence of depositors, curbing the national currency, hampering the lending channels of the economy, giving vague messages to public opinion,” Malaj said.
Asked which of the country’s issues runs the deepest, Malaj mentioned the youth’s mass exodus.
“As students first mobilized the Albanians after 1997, popular awareness only heightened around chemical weapons and thereafter there was a period of general submission or self-acceptance, made worse by the young people in my country, whom I beg not to incorrectly leave and refuse to become part of the change,” he said.
Referring to the recent US State Department report regarding the business climate around the world and the issues Albania is still facing, Malaj said that a group of Albanian economists made a public appeal before the report was even issued.
“We asked the politicians of our country and all the constitutional institutions to take responsibility and cut off the cycle of the political crisis. Whether we like it or not, the State Department scanner, the IMF scanner, the World Bank scanner, but also every Albanian’s scanner, show the economy of our country is heading towards a spiritual depopulation, which then turns into an economic and social depression that creates growing poverty, growing inequality, political instability.” Malaj concluded.